Crossing that bridge
Residents Lord and Lady Long are to move out of their unique property after a decade which is accessible only by the sole privately-owned suspension bridge in the country.
The elderly couple said negotiating the 100ft long bridge that is suspended 90ft off the ground is becoming more difficult as they get older.
They now desire a home with a more ‘accessible’ front door and are selling up for just under £1 million (Rs143.6 million).
The three bedroom house was built on the top of Towan Island on the beach at Newquay, Cornwall, in the 1930s.
When the tide is in the island is completely surrounded by water and from the top of the granite rock there are 360-degree views.
Lord Long, 83, said: “This is one of the most incredible spots.”
Lord and Lady Long bought the house as a holiday home in 2001 when it was on the market for £500,000 (Rs71.8 million) but loved it so much that they made it their permanent residence.
But Lady Long has revealed how the slippery granite steps on either side of the swaying Edwardian bridge are becoming a worry for them.
She said: “We have decided to sell before this becomes a problem.”
It will only be the third time the property has been put up for sale in four decades.
Sarah Lillicrap, from Lillicrap Chilcott estate agents, which is dealing with the sale, said: “It must be one of the most photographed homes in the country. The bridge is an amazing structure but as I understand it Lord Long is ready for something with a slightly more accessible front door.”
She adds: “There was a tea room on the island until the house was built in the 1930s and this will have been only the third time it has been offered for sale in the last 40 years. The house has had various colourful owners since it was built including Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge, the gentleman who invented the spark plug. And it is reported that one of his close friends, Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, visited the island on many occasions.”
I wonder what the kids will look like
A Chinese zoo is to mark Valentine’s Day with a ‘cross species wedding’ between a sheep and a deer.
Keepers at Yunnan Wild Animal Park in Kunming, Yunnan Province, say the ram and doe are “deeply in love”.
At first, they tried separating the unlikely pair — but put them back together again because they were so unhappy.
They say the couple, named Long Hair and Pure Girl, attempt to mate nearly every day.
The zoo is selling tickets for the wedding and has produced a range of T-shirts to mark the event.
“We initially were in a great dilemma of whether to separate them, but their long insistence and commitment to true love changed our mind and won most people’s support,” said zoo manager Li Li. “Now we have shown the courage to give them the grand wedding they deserve”, he added.
Identical twins Sienna and Sierra Bernal really are unique — one is less than half the size of her sister.
The 13-year-olds, from Houston, Texas, are the only identical twins in the world in which one is a dwarf.
Sienna weighs half as much as Sierra and stands just 4ft tall as compared to her twin who is 5ft 1inch in height.
The blonde-haired blue-eyed teens both love shopping, wearing make-up and giggling about boys.
But due to a rare brain abnormality Sienna also has the learning age of an eight year old.
Sienna said: “Most of the time I don’t really care I’m different — it actually makes me feel special. Sierra looks out for me and we do loads together — shopping, swimming and singing. She can be bossy but she shows me how to flirt with boys, stands up for me if I’m teased and reaches things when they’re too high.”
The sisters were born three months prematurely with Sienna weighing slightly more than a pound.
Doctors warned mum Chrissy, 34, Sierra had just a 10% chance of surviving. But after 108 days in intensive care she was fit enough to go home.
Chrissy said: “I try to treat the girls as equals. Sienna has a real passion for life and makes everyone laugh. I’m so proud of both my girls.”
Scientists have captured a “supergiant” crustacean in waters seven kilometres (4.5 miles) deep off New Zealand, measuring 10 times the normal size of related species.
The “supergiant amphipod”, which resembles a monster prawn, was found during an expedition to the Kermadec Trench north of New Zealand by scientists from the University of Aberdeen and Wellington’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) institute.
Amphipods are normally up to three centimetres (around an inch) long and the University of Aberdeen’s Alan Jamieson said he was stunned to find the 28 centimetre (11 inch) giant when emptying traps on his research vessel’s deck.
“I stopped and thought ‘what on earth is that?’ whilst catching a glimpse of an amphipod far bigger than I ever thought possible,” he said. “It’s a bit like finding a foot-long cockroach”, he added.
Another amphipod, which was filmed by the expedition but not captured, was an estimated 34 centimetres long.
“It just goes to show that the more you look, the more you find,” NIWA principal scientist Ashley Rowden said. “For such a large and conspicuous animal to go unnoticed for so long is just testament to how little we know about life in New Zealand’s most deep and unique habitat,” he added. AFP
Rescuing the rescuer
The 51-year-old was pulled from the River Wansbeck in Morpeth, Northumberland, after plunging in after the dog in Carlisle Park.
He was taken to Wansbeck Hospital for tests.
Coachbuilder John Phillips, 38, of Morpeth, was sledging with his son Cameron, seven, when he saw people running towards the river bank. He said: “I was with my little boy when I saw someone run past carrying an orange lifebuoy. Other people were on the riverbank and there was a commotion, people were shouting “what is it?”. I looked along the walkway and there was a man with two lifebuoys around his waist being pulled from the water by a rope. Paramedics turned up soon after but members of the public had him hauled out by then.”
Sergeant Niall Mackel, from Northumbria Police’s Northumberland Area Command, said: “Although this person was trying to help another member of the public by rescuing their dog, this only serves to highlight the dangers of going into open water, particularly with the recent freezing temperatures, which can lead to even strong swimmers getting into difficulty. Fortunately this didn’t result in tragic consequences and I extend my thanks to those people who assisted this gentleman prior to emergency services arrival.”
The dog emerged safe and sound.
It’s all in your head
There’s only one place in the world where you can view row after row of brains — it’s Lima’s Museo de Cerebros, home to the largest collection of brains that can be viewed by the public.
More than 3,000 samples of diseased brains have been assembled by neuropathologist Diana Rivas for the Brain Museum. The museum is part of Peru’s Institute of Neurological Science, and while academics come from around the world to examine Rivas’ collection, she’s much more interested in educating the public about brain disease. She hopes that, if folks can see the damaged brains firsthand, they’ll think more about the health of their own head.
The Brain Museum isn’t quite the largest collection of brains in the world. Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Centre at McLean Hospital has around 7,000 specimens, but its brains aren’t open to the public.
In the independent horror film Osombie, Osama Bin Laden will emerge from his water grave to convert Afghanistan — and eventually the world — to his zombie fundamentalism.
This lunatic idea comes from the brains of Arrowstorm Entertainment. The trailer looks like fun, which seems to be the best match for its bizarre premise:
The story follows Dusty, a yoga instructor from Colorado, who is on a desperate rescue mission to save her crazy brother Derek, a conspiracy theorist who is convinced Osama Bin Laden is still alive, despite having been buried at sea. In Afghanistan, Dusty falls in with a team of Nato Special Forces on a secret assignment. It turns out that Derek is not so crazy after all, and that Osama has returned from his watery grave and is making an army of zombie terrorists. When the group crashes headlong into the growing zombie apocalypse, Dusty and the troops must find and destroy the root of the zombie insurgency before it infests the rest of the world.
Women in black
An estimated 3,500 Iranian women are training in Japanese ninjutsu, the arts associated with espionage, according to a state-run news station.
The Iranian channel Press TV has produced the above six and a half minute segment about these ninjas in training. The women in the video show off their fighting stances, defensive gymnastics, and stealth techniques, all set to a pulse-pounding techno-orchestral soundtrack.
Ninja training allows Iranian women to demonstrate their martial prowess in a society that marginalises them with governmental and religious sanctions. As The Atlantic notes:
In 2007, when Iranian women began qualifying for the Olympics, an official publicly warned, “severe punishment will be meted out to those who do not follow Islamic rules during sporting competitions.” Only three made it to Beijing; Sara Khoshjamal Fekri, the first-ever Iranian woman to qualify in taekwondo, rose to the quarter-finals.
A graffiti artist who accepted shares instead of cash when he painted Facebook’s first headquarters seven years ago is set for a £125 million (Rs 17.9 billion) payday.
David Choe, 35, was asked to paint the walls of the offices in Palo Alto, California, in 2005, and was offered the choice of a few thousand cash or the equivalent in shares.
And, even though he considered the idea of Facebook “ridiculous and pointless” at the time, he took the stock, reports the New York Times.
Recently, after a blockbuster $5billion (Rs 453.2 billion) Facebook stock exchange flotation moved a step closer, he is one of at least 1,000 employees on their way to becoming millionaires.
Now a successful artist, Mr Choe refused to be interviewed about his windfall.
He recently went to the new Facebook headquarters to spray paint a wall, and can be seen in a video getting the help of founder Mark Zuckerberg, 27.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th, 2012.
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